Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Air Canada and flydubai Join Forces for Seamless Connections in Dubai

Air Canada and flyDubai have partnered on nine destinations in the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent

by Matteo Legnani

May 18, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of flydubai

Canadian passengers traveling to the Middle East, East Africa, Indian Subcontinent, and Southern Asia will enjoy seamless connections at Dubai International Airport following a new partnership between Air Canada and flydubai.

The Canadian carrier ‘AC’ code will be placed on nine routes operated by flydubai, including the Middle Eastern cities of Medina, Dammam, Bahrain, Jeddah, and Muscat, as well as flights to Colombo and Karachi on the Indian Subcontinent.

Photo: Courtesy of flydubai

Additionally, an interline agreement between the two airlines will allow Canadian travelers to reach more than 60 destinations served by flydubai, 30 of which are unique to the Dubai-based carrier and not flown by other partners of Air Canada.

The Montreal-based airline flies to the Middle Eastern hub daily from Toronto, using a three-cabin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class service.

Flight AC56 uses Terminal 1 at Dubai International, which means a terminal change for those passengers continuing their journey on flydubai, which operates on Terminal 2 and Terminal 3—both reachable with airside bus connections.

Photo: Air Canada, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Courtesy of John McArthur / Unsplash

“Air Canada is very pleased to partner with flydubai, further expanding our connectivity to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, a growing source of immigration and travel to Canada,” said Mark Galardo, Executive Vice President at Air Canada.

“This new partnership is a perfect complement to Air Canada’s nonstop service to Dubai from Toronto and Vancouver, and grow our relationship with Emirates, flydubai’s codeshare partner.”

Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai, highlighted “the benefits and the convenience of connecting via the Dubai aviation hub,” adding that he is “looking forward to welcoming Canadian passengers onboard our beautiful and comfortable aircraft.”

Photo: Courtesy of Air Canada

Passengers traveling in Air Canada Business Class between Toronto and Dubai can continue enjoying flydubai premium cabins, featuring large and extra-legroom reclining seats on short-haul routes or lie-flat seats on flights longer than three hours.

Starting from the last quarter of this year, these two products will be sidelined by the brand-new Business Suites, unveiled by flydubai during the recent Arabian Travel Market fair held in Dubai.

Photo: New Business Class seat, Flydubai. Courtesy of Flydubai.

The suites, available on a selected number of the carrier’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, come with lie-flat seats, a sliding door for increased privacy, and giant IFE screens and are in an exclusive 1-1 cabin layout, which is a world-first on that type of aircraft.

“Flydubai is committed to exceeding expectations. Our business and product offerings have evolved from the initial no-frills model over the past 14 years to cater to the ever-growing needs of our customers and the markets we operate,” flydubai CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, said during the presentation of the Suites at the ATM.

The two airlines are studying plans to improve further the connection process in Dubai, including the possibility for Air Canada to gain access to Terminal 3, and later this year, will announce expanded features and benefits for one another’s loyalty program members.

Photo: Courtesy of flydubai

The deal follows a partnership signed between Air Canada and flydubai’s ‘big sister’ Emirates last November, which allowed customers of those two carriers to enjoy seamless connectivity to 46 markets spanning three continents, including destinations across the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent.

As a result, Emirates customers can now book codeshare flights to and from Canadian points beyond Toronto, including Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver.

At the same time, Air Canada placed its code on routes operated by Emirates from its hub in Dubai, expanding the airline’s reach across the Indian subcontinent and unlocking more destinations, including Colombo, Dhaka, Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore.